Host: Mel McDonald – Rangeland NRM
Written by Mel McDonald – Kimberley Project Manager, Rangelands NRM.
About everyone I know, whether they grew up in the city or the bush, in Australia or oversees, has a love of the land, the bush, and what Mother Nature has to offer. Everyone has that part of them that wishes they could do more to ensure our natural resources will provide food, fibre, minerals, clean air, clean water, and enjoyment for generations to come. I am lucky because I get to work with people when they are able to fit time in their busy schedules to do just that.
I have been working for Rangelands NRM, first based in Broome then working from home at Yeeda Station, for nearly four years now. Rangelands NRM WA is a non-government organisation which supports and encourages the sustainable use of our natural resources – land, flora and fauna, fresh water, and coastal marine environment. We work with land managers of all descriptions – farmers, pastoralists, Indigenous rangers, miners, other industry, all levels of government, researchers, community groups, and volunteers.
There are 54 Natural Resource Management (NRM) groups across Australia who work towards sustainable natural resource management within a given region, based on catchments and bioregions. Rangelands NRM’s region is the largest, covering 85 per cent of Western Australia including 75 per cent of its coastline. When I first started working for Rangelands NRM, I was working directly with people across the Kimberley and the Pilbara and it was nothing to drive for eight hours to attend a meeting. Most business is done by phone and email, with phone and web meetings becoming more common especially as technology improves. People in the bush are certainly not as isolated as they used to be and because they know the benefits of regular group communication, they are embracing the technology.
Rangelands NRM works across the rangelands of WA including: Kimberley, Pilbara, Desert Rangelands, Gascoyne, Murchison, Goldfields, and Nullarbor.
Although my job title has changed from ‘Regional Landcare Facilitator’ to ‘Kimberley Project Manager’ since having Trent and reducing to more home based part-time hours, I am doing many of the same things. Basically, I work with Pastoralists and Landcare Groups to plan and undertake projects that aim to improve sustainability and protect the environment (our natural resources).
Over the next few days I look forward to sharing with you some of the amazing projects I have been privileged to have been involved in over the last few years.